Sick of all the dead-end almost cancelled shows on TV right now? Never fear. Pretty soon there will be a whole new batch of shows for us to fall in love with and then see cancelled!
There are a lot of pilots that already have stars attached to them - Felicity Huffman as an assassin on Fox, Josh Holloway as a microchipped cop on CBS, and Jason Isaacs as the Surgeon General on CBS, for example. Below are a few shows from each network that I found particularly.... interesting. (You can take that as good, bad, whatever.) If you've got a minute (or 20) check out the full pilot reports from Fox, CBS, ABC, NBC and CW.
A car accident leaves a family's patriarch in a coma-like state where he cannot speak or move, but can hear. His narration and various fantasy sequences provide a wry counterpoint to the stories and conflicts of his family ---> Are we sure this is a drama? Sounds like it could be a comedy to me.
The Hundred (CW)
Nearly a century after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization, a spaceship sends 100 juvenile delinquents back to Earth to investigate the possibility of re-colonizing. ---> Need a cop? Jason Mara might be free if Vegas gets cancelled!
Watch as a 15-year-old Mary Queen of Scots (Adelaide Kane) arrives in France, betrothed to Prince Frances. She must survive fierce foes, dark forces and a world of sexual intrigue. ---> On a cable network... maybe. But on the CW this may as well be called 'The Mary Diaries'.
A beautiful, unhappily married female photographer begins a torrid affair with a lawyer for a powerful family. When he turns out to be defending a murder suspect who is being prosecuted by her husband, the relationship and the case begin a spiraling series of betrayals with cataclysmic results for everyone involved. ---> Because the titles Scandal and Deception and Revenge were already taken.
Big Thunder (ABC)*
A brilliant, late-19th-century New York doctor and his family are given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to relocate to a frontier mining town run by a powerful, but mysterious tycoon. They quickly realize that not everything in Big Thunder is as it seems. Based on the Disney ride?
Gothica (ABC) *
A sexy, modern gothic soap weaves together the mythologies of Dracula, Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein and Dorian Gray, among others. If every episode of Once Upon a Time was a Dr. Whale episode.
Super Fun Night (ABC)
Kimmie (Rebel Wilson) and her two best friends (Lauren Ash and Liza Lapira) worry that their Friday-night tradition (staying home in their pajamas) will be threatened when Kimmie gets a big promotion at her law firm and is invited to a party by the cute transfer from the London office (Kevin Bishop). It's time to take Super Fun Night on the road! And this is a series? Not a movie? I'm confused.
NCIS: Red (CBS)*
An upcoming episode of NCIS: Los Angeles will act as this show's backdoor pilot, in which a small mobile team of agents — John Corbett, Kim Raver, Gillian Alexy, Scott Grimes and Edwin Hodge among them — are forced to live and work together as they crisscross the country solving crimes. ---> A spinoff of a spinoff of a spinoff, inspired by Road Rules. My parents will love this.
A sultry legal show set in Charleston, S.C., where a gorgeous Yankee litigator and a Southern city attorney struggle to hide their intense attraction while clashing amidst a police sex scandal. ---> Because the titles Scandal and Deception and Revenge and Betrayal were already taken.
Jacked Up (CBS)
Rules of Engagement's Patrick Warburton stars as a beloved, recently retired baseball player who finds that adjusting to not working isn't as easy as he thought it would be. ---> So Rules of Engagement finally got cancelled?
The McCarthys (CBS)
This family comedy is about a loud, sports-crazy Boston clan that includes Jake Lacy, Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver and Jack McGee. ---> Would be better if it starred cousins Jenny and Melissa.
A meek, unassuming fast-food worker (Harry Potter's Rupert Grint) decides to become a superhero. ---> Ron!
Felicity Huffman will star as Margie Hamilton, the matriarch of a family of assassins, who has to balance the demands of motherhood with her unusual job. ---> So... Desperate Housewives, Part II?
The List (Fox)
A U.S. Marshal leads the hunt for the person who stole "The List," a file that reveals the identities of everyone in the Federal Witness Security Program, who begin showing up dead. ---> I find that shows built around one mystery cannot work. The Killing, Alcatraz, that one with Ashley Judd... Maybe The Following will renew my sense of confidence, but I just have little faith this can work (unless the emphasis is on a compelling U.S. Marshal and compelling villain as characters, and not just focused on the chase itself).
Sleepy Hollow (Fox)
Ichabod Crane partners with Sleepy Hollow's sheriff to solve the mysteries of a town ravaged by the battle between good and evil. ---> Ugh, I sort of hate what the success of Grimm and Once Upon A Time have done to television pitches. Maybe this one will be more like Do No Harm?
Untitled Dan Goor/Mike Schur Project (Fox)
A group of detectives — including Saturday Night Live alum Andy Samberg, Andre Braugher, Terry Crews and Melissa Fumero — form an odd family in a police precinct in the outermost neighborhood of New York City. ---> Okay. You got me. I hope Terry Crews is playing a reformed Cheeseburger Eddie.
Hatfields & McCoys (NBC)
Set in present-day Pittsburgh, a startling death reignites the feud between the legendary families. Unleashing decades of resentment, the blue-collar McCoys will put the Hatfields' wealth and power at risk as they battle for control of the city. ---> So, no pig stealing in this one?
In a remake of the 1960s drama, an acerbic police detective (Blair Underwood) who uses a wheelchair pushes and prods his hand-picked team to solve the most difficult cases in the city.---> My gripe here is with the choice of words - 'uses a wheel chair'? Is that to imply he may not need it? Why not call him paralyzed or wheelchair-bound?
Brenda Forever (NBC)
We meet Brenda Miller through a double narrative of the protagonist at 13 and 31 (played by The Office's Ellie Kemper) ---> Because if she was 30, that would be too similar to 13 Going on 30.
Holding Patterns (NBC)
A group of friends' lives change after they survive a plane crash. ---> Experience has taught me that these friends will either want to 'go back', buy a hospital or eat eachother.
Untitled Owen Ellickson and Craig Robinson Project (NBC)
A talented musician (Craig Robinson, who will also produce) adjusts to a new life as a middle-school music teacher. Like Treme, but less characters and less depressing!
*UPDATE. Read '10 Shocking Pilot Rejections'